New York :
Margaret Keenan, 90, became this Tuesday the first person in the UK and the world to receive the vaccine against him coronavirus developed by the American pharmaceutical Pfizer and his german partner BioNTech, one week after its approval in the country for emergency use.
The woman received the dose first thing in the morning at the Coventry University Hospital, central England. You are scheduled to receive the second dose in 21 days.
The United Kingdom starts this Tuesday at administer the vaccine to the most vulnerable groups from the country.
The UK has already started vaccination against covid. This is Margaret Keenan, 90 https://t.co/HKEVzOB8mP pic.twitter.com/uIEzjpfVs6
– THE COUNTRY (@el_pais) December 8, 2020
Keenan, who will turn 91 next week and hails from the Northern Irish town of Enniskillen – although she has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years – is a former jewelry worker with a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.
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“I think the chances are high that we will look back on this day as a decisive turning point in the battle against coronavirus.”said Simon Stevens, executive director of England’s National Health Service.
Keenan, whom her friends and family call Maggie, received the first of two doses of the vaccine from Filipino nurse May Parsons amid widespread media attention as she ushered in what the UK Government has called the V-Day (Day of the V or vaccination). The nurse has been working for the British National Health System for 24 hours and joined Coventry University Hospital in 2003.
“I feel so privileged to be the first person to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s the best birthday present, come on, and because it means that I will finally be able to spend time with my family and my friends on New Years after being practically alone the whole year, ”Keenan told the media.
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The woman thanked the National Health Service (NHS, for its acronym in English) because of the way they have cared for her and advised people to get vaccinated. “If I can receive it at 90, then you can too”, he claimed.
The director of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, thanked all the people who participated in getting this important new vaccination program up and running. ”Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS is now providing the first clinically approved COVID-19 vaccine, “he recalled.
Public health officials ask the public to be patient because only those who are most at risk from COVID-19 will be vaccinated in the early stages.. Individuals will be contacted by medical staff to make appointments, and most will have to wait until next year before there are enough doses to expand the program.
About 50 hospitals in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will begin this Tuesday with vaccinations for people over 80 years old and employees of the health sector and nursing homes, although the residents themselves will have to wait for logistics to allow the transfer to the vaccination site in the next few days.
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The United Kingdom has committed 40 million doses, which will vaccinate 20 million people. The first 800,000 doses go to people over the age of 80 who are hospitalized or already scheduled outpatient appointments, along with nursing home workers. Others will have to wait their turn. Among the British scheduled to get vaccinated is Hari Shukla of Newcastle.
According to regulators, the vaccine will be effective seven days after a person receives the second dose, although there is some protection 12 days after the first.
Meanwhile, the pandemic is killing more people than ever: The United States averaged 1,826 daily deaths last week, one every 45 seconds, according to data from NBC News, Telemundo’s sister network. In total, the country has already registered more than 15 million confirmed infections, according to the same count.
Cases in Europe have slowed following widespread restrictions in several countries, although places like the UK and Spain have some of the highest per capita death figures in the world.
Vaccine supplies will be tight at first. US authorities plan to ship 6.4 million doses the day the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it and up to 40 million doses by the end of the year. Most of these will go to the 21 million healthcare workers and the 3 million nursing home employees.
With information from NBC News, AP and EFE.